Why everybody in Lymington should be a Dementia Friend
Lymington has officially been a “Dementia Friendly Town” for some time now. This is appropriate in a town where a significant proportion of the population is elderly, since dementia is a condition which on the whole affects older people.
One of the measures of dementia friendliness is the number of “Dementia Friends” in the community. And logically, up until now, people in Lymington who’ve become Dementia Friends are mainly people who already have connections with dementia.
Dementia Friends can improve the lives of people with dementia
But if everybody in Lymington was prepared to give up just an hour of their time to become a Dementia Friend, things would really start to change.
Just one small step taken by many would help to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia in the community.
At any one time there are many people in the midst of our community struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis of dementia. Whether they are themselves losing their memories and finding everyday tasks suddenly challenging, or whether they are trying to look after a dearly loved one who has dementia, it is a confusing, frightening time for all concerned.
There are of course medical and support services and resources to help them.
But the key thing which concerns us all is this: the longer people with dementia can remain in the community, living relatively “well” in their homes with their loved ones, the better they are likely to feel about themselves and their changed circumstances.
And the rest of us can help to make that possible.
Because becoming a Dementia Friend is very simple and takes less than an hour.
What is a Dementia Friend?
First let’s correct an understandable misunderstanding. Being a Dementia Friend does not mean that you have to actually befriend somebody with dementia. In fact in some ways “Dementia Friend” is a misleading term.
Being a Dementia Friend simply means, first that you know how to spot the signs and thus are more likely to recognise that somebody has dementia.
Second, because you have a little more insight into what it actually feels like to have dementia, you’ll also understand better how to behave when you meet somebody who has it.
In fact very small changes in your behaviour which would require no effort on your part, could make that person feel better about both him or herself and the immediate world about him or her.
So, even if you don’t personally know anybody with dementia, please become a Dementia Friend.
We need less than an hour of your time
Dementia awareness sessions are given by trained volunteer Dementia Champions. The interactive sessions include refreshments, and take less than an hour.
You’ll experience some everyday situations through the eyes of somebody with dementia. This is enough to give you an insight into how very small changes in your behaviour can make a difference to how people with dementia can live better, for longer.
Special Dementia Awareness Sessions are hold throughout the year. The next session is on ,..... at Linden House Dementia Care Home in New Street, in the large and airy staff training room with excellent sandwiches provided.
We’re hoping that lots of people will come along who until now perhaps thought that “dementia” had nothing to do with them.
The 45 minutes session is highly interactive, and the time will fly. You will leave better informed and “aware”, that you can play your own small part in making our town truly “Dementia Friendly”.
You’ll then be one of the growing team able to help people with dementia to lead happier lives within our community for longer, and to help the husbands or wives caring for them to feel better supported by our community.
This is definitely a win win – simply for giving up a small amount of your time.
Staff and fresh sandwiches will be on hand to welcome you from 5.30 pm. The session will start at 6pm and we promise you can be on your way home before 7pm.
Please bring a friend – or two – or more! Together we can spread the word and create a positive energy about living well with dementia. People can continue to live fulfilled lives and enjoy their favourite activities within the community, for a long while after a dementia diagnosis.
Please contact Anita Irvine, Linden House Home Manager and let her know you plan to attend – apart from anything else this has a direct bearing on the number of sandwiches provided!